Monocle – Agent performance platform

The Sales Center at Red Ventures consists of roughly 2500+ phone agents, as well as multiple Sales Directors and Performance Coaches for each business unit represented. Effectively monitoring and coaching phone agents on their sales process is the key to optimize conversion and can result in a significant lift in profit margin for the businesses they support, and our Partners. Coaches needed a better way to develop their teams more effectively… That’s where Monocle comes in.

Uncovering the need

In the initial phase, we conducted multiple discovery sessions and had ongoing discussions with Performance Coaches (PCs) and Sales Directors to identify problems and key issues faced daily with the current workflow. Previously, the data necessary to track agent performance and deliver coachings existed in various places. This required writing multiple queries to pull all the data needed which was clearly inefficient and basically meant that real-time performance tracking was hardly even a thing. Earlier in the year, a small team of engineers built a rough proof-of-concept tool at an RV-sponsored hackathon which gave PCs insight into agent status and introduced the concept of live listening — Something necessary to provide ongoing quality assurance to customers, and ensure compliance with Partner regulations. This tool ended up being used by almost every sales team at RV. We soon realized the need to centralize all the data PCs needed to make decisions, identify trends in performance (in real-time), consolidate metrics necessary to measure team/agent performance, as well as quantify inputs such as: live listening, coaching agents, and delivering feedback.

Project goals

Initial research confirmed the need and identified a core underlying theme: Consolidation. Expanding on the key objectives of the product outlined above, we set out to build a simple, intuitive platform that would give Sales Directors insight into overall sales performance for their business, and Performance Coaches insight into team/agent performance with the ability to deliver more relevant coachings based on actual calls taken. In doing so, our primary goal with Monocle was to aid in the development of both sales agents and coaches and create a more optimized sales center, thus resulting in an overall lift in profit margin across all businesses at RV.

Designing the platform + defining functionality

At this point, we felt we had a clear understanding of what we were building and what core functionality needed to be included in the MVP release. This needed to be a self-service tool that would allow business teams to configure sales metrics (KPIs) specific to their business, which might also change monthly (based on sales goals) or from team to team. Once configured, these metrics could then be applied to measure overall team performance (as well as individual performance for each agent on their team), thus giving PCs the ability to much more effectively monitor sales progress throughout the day. This data was accessible from a team/agent dashboard that displayed KPIs unique to their business viewed in real-time or as daily, weekly, or monthly trends. Providing this level of granularity and insight into key performance metrics would also help identify areas in which agents were potentially falling short. They could then be coached on their overall sales process/approach, and coaches could reference those points in a previous call (via time-stamped comments) where improvement could be made.

(Above: Notes, flows, and wireframe sketches from the initial phase of Monocle development)

The end result

As of this writing, Monocle is in it’s final stages of QA and testing. The alpha version we’ve been testing with a small group of users has received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Sales teams are eager to finally have a tool to simplify their job of monitoring performance and delivering coachings without spending hours pulling data from multiple sources. A beta version is expected to be released in the next few weeks, in which we will have a couple PCs from each business using the tool and providing detailed feedback to the product team. The MVP launch is scheduled for the end of October, and will begin rollout to every business team at Red Ventures. Additional features and functionality (post-MVP) will include the ability to configure alerts on a per-user basis that will notify the user when agent performance drops below a set threshold. Also slated for development is a streamlined companion mobile app that will allow live listening thru the user’s mobile phone when connected. This will afford them the ability to live listen and also address any potential problems that might arise on the sales floor.

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